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Explore the Mystery and Magic of Historic Singer Castle

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2021-09-04 11:36:00

It’s no secret that the Thousand Islands region has long been a playground for the rich and famous. Take a short ride along the river amongst these islands and you’ll see mansions and castles of every stripe adorning island shores. But amongst all the Gilded Age glamour and more modern mansions, there’s one island castle that’s truly unique.

Located on Dark Island, Singer Castle has a complex history all its own. What sets it apart is that though many extravagant residences were built in this popular region during the Gilded Age, Singer Castle is the only one of these great castles that was actually lived in by its intended residents and is also open to the public today. The Singer Castle experience is truly one of a kind, and Dark Island has become the backdrop for a century’s worth of stories.

At the heart of the history and mystery of the castle is the Bourne family. It was 1902 when Frederick Bourne, the fifth president of the Singer Manufacturing Company, decided he wanted to build an island getaway for his family and friends. Bourne purchased Dark Island, off of Chippewa Bay on the St. Lawrence River, in 1902 for just $5,000. By the time he had purchased the property, he had already commissioned his favorite New York City architect, Ernest Flagg, to begin plans for immediate construction of a castle that would endure throughout the ages.

The size and layout of the castle make it clear that the Bourne family designed this castle to accommodate not only their own large family, but to include the presence of friends, relatives and extended family. For eleven years the Bourne family enjoyed summers and duck hunting excursions at their island getaway, until several deaths in the family, including that of Bourne himself, put an end to the family’s excursions.  The island and castle changed hands several times over the years before the latest owner opened it to the public.

Today, area boat tour companies, including Uncle Sam Boat Tours and Schermerhorn Harbor, offer shuttle service to the island, where guides await your arrival for a tour of this five-story, 28-room castle complete with seven acres of breathtaking grounds and gardens. Each room of the castle is decorated with heirlooms and family photographs that give visitors a feeling of timelessness.

Take the experience a step further and spend the night in the beautifully decorated Royal Suite. Located in a wing of the castle devoted to overnight visitors, this two-bedroom suite sleeps up to six and affords visitors the luxury of an extended private tour. The suite provides a view of both the brilliant American sunrise and the romantic Canadian sunset, right from the California King size bed.

This beautiful island and its rich history make Singer Castle one of the most fascinating and exciting places to visit in the Thousand Islands. The moment you step onto Dark Island you will feel the presence of its vibrant past. Visit this summer and immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this authentic and breathtaking castle, and experience it for yourself!
Singer Castle aerial view photo credit Singer Castle
Singer Castle view from grounds photo via flickr
Singer Castle view from water photo credit Ad Meskens
Singer Castle dining room photo via flickr
Singer Castle Royal Suite photo credit Singer Castle

posted at: 2021-09-04 11:36:00, last updated: 2021-09-08 16:34:43

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